Rural Notebook | John Seaman

CENTRE OF ATTENTION: The media scrum made a striking scene on a large scale family farm at Newbridge on Monday. Photo: SUPPLIED
CENTRE OF ATTENTION: The media scrum made a striking scene on a large scale family farm at Newbridge on Monday. Photo: SUPPLIED

LAST Monday’s announcements by Premier Gladys Berejiklian at “Ferndale”, Newbridge were well received by rural producers across our district.

We know that opinions are divided on fodder transport subsidies and that farmers who destocked early are inclined to question those who retained their breeding animals.

But my general comment is to thank our state government for its very worthwhile support, especially its back-dating of many freight subsidy claims to January 1, 2018.

Even though I’m not a National or Liberal Party member, I do appreciate the consistent lobbying of the premier and ministers that our Member for Bathurst has carried out on our behalf.

The drought support ball is now squarely in the court of the federal government as they must now weigh in with a lot more than prime ministerial selfies.

Many thanks to Robyn, Cliff, Stuart and Andrew Kelly for their hospitality and their practical comments to media and political figures.

Boots and suits

TICKETS are still on sale for the Black Tie and Boots Ball at Bathurst Goldfields on Saturday, August 11, with proceeds to go to the drought support entity Rural Aid.

The ball will be hosted by Grant and Chezzi Denyer and Guy Sebastian will head the entertainment.

Tickets and details from www.blacktieand boots.com.au.

Just saying

A FEW notes from the past week or so:

  • A large scale cattle breeder is feeding a mix of orange peels and barley to his cows.
  • A Binnaway farmer says he’s just about run out of grain, hay, water and cash – and he expects to run out of dust within days.
  • Marj Townsend tells me that she drenched all her cattle by herself in recent days. She is now in her 95th year and bright as a button.
  • Mayor Graeme Hanger mentioned “the spirit of Bathurst” at a council function. Thank you, Mr Mayor, I think this spirit is alive and thriving.
  • My regard for a poor man’s dollar is well known and the saying may well have had a big influence in last weekend’s by-elections in Longman and Braddon.

Mum’s the word

AT times like the present it’s easy to love the mothers of newborn animals that arrive into almost bare, dusty paddocks.

My job as offsider with nice mobs of Millah Murrah first calvers and Winyar/Severn Park ewes is made easy by no assisted births with the merino ewes and just an odd young heifer.

To see these black Angus heifers fight for their calves and the merino ewes doing their best to rear many sets of twin lambs gives us the reason why we remain positive and hang on tight ’til the good times return, as they will.

Where’s the wind?

WHEN we discuss the popular methods of pumping underground water from bores or wells we usually mention diesel, electric  or solar driven pumps, and each of them will be costly but reliable.

Of real interest is the gradual disappearance of the traditional windmill and the lack of regular winds to spin the sails of the machine was usually the reason given.

With a couple of decades of unreliable rainfall the faithful windmills just haven’t pumped enough water for livestock and house surrounds, and have been replaced in many instances.

In a small way this issue must cast doubt on the reliance of wind power for electricity generation as we don’t seem to experience as many days of consistent strong winds that seemed to be a feature of Tablelands winters.

QUALITY: Fleece wools like this have been returning great results to growers. The 17.4 micron line of this fleece sold for 1860 cents. Photo: SUPPLIED

QUALITY: Fleece wools like this have been returning great results to growers. The 17.4 micron line of this fleece sold for 1860 cents. Photo: SUPPLIED

Shear persistence

A NUMBER of district producers have started their annual shearing and early results vary greatly, depending a lot on the condition of the flock.

Much grain, hay and silage has already gone into livestock feeding programs and feed quality varies greatly.

Having been involved in shearing teams for most of my working life, I know how keen to work these teams are and we all realise the value of the girls who help make up the workforce.

This spring should give many wool producers their first crack at the vastly improved market and we hope these auction levels will continue through the spring selling season.

No successor

LAST weekend’s Super Saturday of five federal by-elections showed us what a huge task lies in front of the Liberals if they are to be re-elected in 2019.

Labor leader Bill Shorten is a good campaigner and the prime minister is not, and most of their policies are similar.

Right wing commentators believe that the PM should now resign or face horror at the polling booths, but there is no apparent successor waiting in the wings.

The federal pendulum has swung a long way since Tony Abbott led the Coalition to a thumping win just a few years ago.

Diary dates

  • Saturday, August 11: Bathurst Merino Association ram expo, dog auction and junior sheep judging. Bathurst Showground, 10am-3pm. Lunch available.
  • Saturday, August 11: Black Tie and Boots Ball, Bathurst Goldfields, Conrod Straight.
  • Sunday, August 19: Bathurst Merino Association and Local Land Services barbecue lunch at Perthville Hall, noon. No charge, all welcome, but please RSVP to Kirby McPhee on 0401 402 351.

Laugh lines

THE faithful wife found a slip of paper in hubby’s coat pocket and it read “Mary Lou”.

Of course, he was confronted and explained: “Oh, that’s a filly in Race 1 at Bathurst trots next Wednesday.”

Three days later he arrived home to face more trouble.

Faithful wife shouted: “That horse phoned twice today.”

***

WHEN you are dating he calls you “honey” all day. When you are married he calls you “hey” and refers to you as “she”.

When you are dating you picture growing old together. When you’ve been married for years you wonder who will die first.

When you are dating a single bed for two is OK. Once married, a king size bed seems like an army fortress.